How lightning helps plants grow

By Timothy Allsworth

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How does lightning form?

Lightning is the product of particles in a cumulo-nimbus or other large cloud formations rubbing together to form giant sparks that can form within these clouds or from the cloud to the ground or even from the ground to the cloud if conditions are right.

Lightning can form in almost any conductive environment from thunder clouds to volcanic eruptions clouds and pyro-cumulus clouds that form from large bushfires.

They are similar to static electricity charges you get when the air is dry and you rub two pieces of conductive material together and you get a zap, only much larger.

lightningHow does lightning help plants grow?

Lightning contains many nutrients that it absorbs from the surrounding elements.  The heat produced from lightning interacts with the nitrogen and oxygen surrounding the lightning charge.  The result is nitrates are formed.

When this nitrate is dissolved in the rain within the cloud, it becomes a natural fertiliser.  This is why you see a greener and better grass a few days after a thunderstorm.

So basically, thunderstorms are giant fertilisers and in combination with high rainfall can turn once barren landscapes into flourishing landscapes especially if thunderstorms occur more than once over a period of time.

Lightning is also commonly associated with the beginning of life and how it may have formed on earth.

Further reading


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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.